Keeping Your Idea Safe
In the interest of making sure your app idea is safeguarded against theft and duplicates, you will need to consult a solicitor who specialises in intellectual property to organise these affairs appropriately. Below are some things you may want to consider discussing with your solicitor.
This is a relatively inexpensive way to protect your app. Copyrights will only secure you against complete copies of your app. It will not protect against close alternatives.
Trademarks are directly associated with the branding of your app. Again, these are relatively cheap to obtain. Acquiring a trademark means that you are protected if another company uses similar branding (e.g. name, logo style) to yours. Usually offenders will do this with the intention of confusing and tricking consumers into purchasing their alternative.
Patenting your app will protect your app against most intellectual property infringement attempts. However, this process is much more expensive and time-consuming than other intellectual property measures. Depending on how long you want to hold your patent, the process may take from six months to several years.
You may want to consider applying for a provisional patent, in which you have a year to see if your idea is commercially viable and worth the application for a full patent. This is a cheaper process, which is examined faster.
When selecting your app developers it is in your best interest to be selective of who you choose to disclose your idea to. You should determine if the developers are trustworthy before you tell them about your idea. After you establish this, a nondisclosure agreement should be signed. If this agreement is breached, you are able to sue them. A reputable app developer will offer to sign a nondisclosure agreement before asking about your idea.
Find out about Intellectual Property in Australia here.
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